Kirk Pinho – 2 poems


The Garden Canaries

I:           where was mother last week
II:         the tomato garden
              apoplectic                                          wringing canary necks
III:       yes the tomato garden                     in the dross garden
             it offered no tomatoes                      again
I:          where is she now                               tell me damn it
II:        still the tomato garden
             praying to the canaries’
             jaundiced collapsed necks
             her usual every day ho-hum quotidian worship
             you know
III:       yes the tomato garden                     she’s sorry
              so sorry                                              she begged forgiveness
              in the confession booth
I:           what of the garden of bombs
              she grew in the scarecrow               tell me why
              that didn’t work
II:         little brother                                     yes it’s still there
              still tick-tocking like a canary heart
              but bye bye canaries
III:       they were sham bombs                   duds
I:          take that back like pompeii
             mother                                               vesuvius takes its children
             in its lavaed palms                            makes them obsidian
II:         like children tend to be
             the tinny sounds of canaries
             not exploding                                    not being scattered
             into tiny little stars
             of feather and bone
III:       there you go again
             marginalizing existence
I:          don’t tell us what to do                   with knowledge
             with language                                   mother gave us
II:        yes                                                     don’t tell us what to do
III:      wasn’t planning on it                       brothers
I:         i think you were                               you bird-hearted son of a bitch
II:       i think you were                               too
III:     don’t tell me what i think                or what i mean
IV:      you are all but strangers                 to this world
            so boys                                               boys
            that’s enough



Poem for Staccato

Our bodies topsy-turvy,
crisp twigs snapping under our palms,
the cloudy jelly of your cataract eye
that one day we walked through
the woods on our dew-soaked hands
& went throat-first into the battalion of bear traps.
And there we were, bear trap-necked.


The beginning of love’s arrhythmia,
its minor-key arpeggios, its syncopation.
Pah-rump, Pah-rump.
Pah-rump, buh-bump, buh-bump.
Pah-rump, Pah-rump.
Pah-rump, buh-bump, buh-bump. 


But Death was splayed
in a rope-hammock, listening to Lady Day
                        —I don’t stand
                            a ghost of a chance—
drinking lemonade on his morning off,
still figuring out the recalcitrant syllables of autopsy
and accident. 


Whoa, baby, hold up.
You’re a wicked one now: prosthetic-necked,
feather-hearted, sotto voce Belial incarnate
when we bicker like guns.
Deadbeat tongue: apocryphal. 


You have to keep this hush-hush, darling, but
I’m so miserable that I’m always right
in the crosshairs of your histrionics.
I’m so miserable that I’m always right
in the crosshairs of your ghosts. 


Woe, baby, hold your horses.
The grizzly bear I’ve been
saddling goes giddy up.

Kirk Pinho, a graduate of the University of Alabama’s MFA Program in Creative Writing, is the assistant editor and lead political reporter for a newspaper in Michigan. His poems most recently have appeared or are forthcoming in Wisconsin Review, The Journal, Everyday Genius, and others. You can find him at 


About gobbet

gobbet is a literary magazine dedicated to publishing the very best experimental poetry and prose. Intellectual perversity and explorations of dark themes are positively encouraged. We are only interested in work that is progressively experimental. We want to see risks, and we want to see them pay. No previously published work. Prose should not be longer than 1000 words. There are always exceptions. Send 3-5 poems. Include a short bio. Send submissions to Work will be published every 5-10 days. We also intend to publish anthologies of selected work published in gobbet. We will do our best to reply promptly. Most submissions will receive a decision within a month.
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One Response to Kirk Pinho – 2 poems

  1. Pingback: GOBBET « HELLO KIRK PINHO [dotcom]

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